Police in the UK town of Totton are investigating what's being described as a "thick piece of string" tied between two lampposts at neck-height, aiming to take out a motorcyclist or bike rider.

The string was found late at night by a passerby who called the authorities. No one was injured, but local police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

While this is the kind of thing that sounds straight of a Quentin Tarantino movie, riders being maimed or killed by nearly invisible ropes isn't uncommon. There have been about a dozen cases over the last 10 years of cable, string, or fishing line strung across roads. Sometimes they're found before they can do damage. Sometimes not.

One of the most recent cases involved Greg Burkett, who required 23 stitches across his neck when he hit a wire tied across a suburban road in Australia. And in 2007, a motocross rider was beheaded in front of his friends when a wire was strung across an off road course.

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"Depending on the tension of the string and the speed at which they were traveling, they could have suffered a very serious injury – a broken neck at least," said Mog Morrison, the head of the New Forest Motorcycle Action Group in the UK regarding the incident. "This sort of thing has killed people in the past."

Image: The intersection, via Google Streetview